Daily Archives: August 6, 2019

August 6 Joy in the Lord

Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 2:17–20

Key Verse: Nehemiah 8:10

Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Author and Bible teacher Warren Wiersbe writes:

Joy takes the burden out of service. “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). God loves a cheerful servant as well as a cheerful giver … God wants His family to be happy, and this means that each member must contribute to the joy.

Have you ever thought about how your personality affects others? What type of employee or family member are you: positive, encouraging, a team member, and someone who prompts warm comments?

The Thessalonians struggled with being cheerful believers. Their joy had been dampened because they had allowed doubts and fears to creep into their thinking. False teachers had convinced them that the rapture of the church had already taken place.

Paul wrote his letter to encourage them not to give in to negative thinking. Instead, he admonished them to keep their focus on what they had been taught concerning this event: “For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?” (1 Thessalonians 2:19 nasb).

Don’t allow fears or doubts to control you and your emotions. Even though you face times when you do not sense God’s closeness, He has not left you. Your greatest joy is in knowing that He has an eternal love for you that cannot be destroyed. This knowledge gives peace in the midst of turmoil.

Lord, thank You for the spirit of joy that yields strength, power, and peace to endure difficult circumstances.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 229). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

A Double-Minded Man: Albert Mohler’s Explicit Contradictions — Pulpit & Pen

The two faces of Albert Mohler; Mohler and James Cone (the father of Critical Race Theory).

As we explained in the article, The Two Faces of Albert Mohler: Beware the Phone Call Mind-Meld, Mohler is a double-minded man. On one hand, he swears that he is opposing Critical Race Theory with all of his vigor, and yet it is being strongly promoted in his seminaries by leaders he hand-selected. It seems that Mohler is trying to put up conservative front for conservative Southern Baptist donors, but undermine conservative Southern Baptist beliefs.

Albert Mohler’s lead man at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Will Hall, recently did a video in which he espoused – word for word – the tenets of Critical Race Theory. Keep in mind that this is the man, underneath Mohler, who runs the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. And in that CRT-espousing video, Hall acknowledges being a White Supremacist.

Of course, under Critical Race Theory, such an admission isn’t career-ending, because under that system all white people are White Supremacists, and it’s actually virtue-signaling to say so. If you tried to click on the link for Hall’s video, it would say, “File Not Found.”

However, in an article in The Federalist, Mohler admits to having scrubbed the evidence of Matt Hall teaching CRT from his own website.

The article at The Federalist reads…

When asked why one of Hall’s articles on the Southern Seminary website affirming critical race theory was scrubbed, Mohler replied forthrightly, “Because I asked for it to be scrubbed. It was because I did not think it was helpful…If I thought Matt Hall was a danger to the church of Jesus Christ, he would not be the provost of Southern Baptist Seminary.”

To make the point of Mohler’s contradictions clear, here’s what Matt Hall, head of SBTS, said…

This, of course, is textbook Critical Race Theory. It is literally, word for word, a citation of CRT verbiage, ideas, and concepts.

Mohler says he’s against this, and won’t allow anyone at SBTS teach it. Here’s what Mohler said…

Mohler truly does have two faces. Sometimes he just shows them at the exact same time.

If Mohler knows what Critical Race Theory is (and he does), he knows that Matt Hall is teaching it (and Hall is), and Mohler promised that no one would teach it at SBTS, but says that Hall is not a danger and won’t be firing him (or apparently even censuring him).

Mohler may very well suffer the same ailment of inconsistency as Dr. MacArthur who said, “I will fight against false teaching, but I will not fight against my friends.” Perhaps its this attitude, born in the heart of Dr. MacArthur, that has infected Dr. Mohler and will be the downfall of evangelicalism as a whole.

he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways (James 1:8)

via A Double-Minded Man: Albert Mohler’s Explicit Contradictions — Pulpit & Pen

August 6 Be Still and Listen

Scripture Reading: Galatians 5:16–23

Key Verse: Galatians 5:16

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Paul told us that if we walk by the Spirit, we will not carry out the deeds of the flesh (Gal. 5:16). Many times this is not an easy task. The only way you can walk in the Spirit is to be conscious of God’s indwelling presence and your lack of ability.

The moment you try to live like Christ is usually the time you face difficulty. This happens because you set your focus on becoming something instead of allowing Christ to live His life through you. There will be times of failure in your life. These times are the very moments God uses to instruct you in great ways.

However, this can happen only if you are open to listening to the Spirit’s voice. There can be no distraction inside you—no desire to get it right or work things out on your own. Let Jesus show you the way.

Submitting yourself to God’s will opens the way for spiritual discernment. So many people try this or that in an effort to grow spiritually when all they really need to do is to learn how to sit before the Lord and be still in their spirits. Today when irritating thoughts come or something goes awry, allow the new you—the part of you that is controlled by God’s Spirit—to take control of the situation.

Be still, if only for a moment, and listen for His voice. He will provide the needed wisdom, patience, guidance, and love you need to carry on in this life.

Master, because You live inside me, I have new and glorious freedom. Remove the distractions. Still my restless heart. Let the new me emerge.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 229). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 6 The Sword of the Spirit

Scripture reading: Psalm 119:145–152

Key verse: Hebrews 4:12

The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

To some, Scripture memorization is fun. To others, it is a chore comparable to facing an algebra test. If you find it difficult to retain Bible verses, perhaps a little motivation will help: when the devil is after you, it is essential that you know God’s Word.

The fourth chapter of Matthew describes how Satan tempted a weakened, tired, hungry Jesus in the wilderness. Here, God Himself demonstrated the importance of knowing Scripture.

On each point of temptation that Satan foisted toward Him, Jesus answered first with three powerful words: “It is written.” Jesus then recited Scripture. Each time, the enemy’s hollow attempts crumbled under the weight of God’s Word. Notice that Satan had no answer for any of Jesus’ responses. He is the father of lies and can’t handle the truth. When we invoke God’s name and His Word, Christ becomes indomitable within us.

One of the Bible’s most famous passages, Ephesians 6:13–17, informs believers how to dress for daily battle. Have you ever noticed that in the full armor of God the first implements are to be used for protection only? They are pieces of armor you are to don. The final element is “the sword of the Spirit.” What is the sword of the Spirit? The Word of God. It is a weapon!

Father, I thank You for the sword of the Spirit, Your mighty Word. When Satan rises up against me today, help me to invoke Your name and Your Word.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 229). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

4 Main Things Christians Need to Know About Critical Race Theory — Pulpit & Pen

As Christian institutions like Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary are promoting Critical Race Theory, many believers are confused as to what the doctrine is or why it’s dangerous. As the Southern Baptist Convention approved Resolution 9 in June, which promotes Critical Race Theory as an analytical tool, we need to know why it’s dangerous.

This information should provide a quick guide to four main things Christians need to know about Critical Race Theory (CRT).


Invented by Derrick Bell and other attorneys as a spin-off of Critical Legal Theory in American law schools in the 1980s, these theorists were disenchanted with the results of the Civil Rights Movement. Bell, Richard Delgado, and other CRT thinkers viewed classical liberal ideas such as meritocracy (people being rewarded based on their individual merits), equal opportunity, and colorblind justice (like that promoted by Dr. King) to all be factors that cause systemic, invisible, intangible racism.

What many people don’t understand is that CRT rejects most of the things that the 1960s Civil Rights Movement fought for, like treating people equally in institutions and under the law. Instead, CRT teaches that if power is to be properly redistributed from the “haves” to “have-nots” (which in their eyes include minority identity groups), the law may actually need to biased in favor of minority identity groups.

It is likely that the 1960s Civil Rights leaders like Dr. King, Bayard Rustin, Hosea Williams, and Gloria Richardson all would have opposed CRT vehemently, as it denies that people should be judged “by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.” CRT, conversely, teaches that skin color (or identity group) is the lens through which all things – especially justice – should be viewed.


Christians should desire to have unity with all ethnicities, understanding our common ancestors (Adam and Eve) provide us both biological and theological reasons to reject the Darwinian notions of “race” altogether.

However, CRT is a system that rejects both human biology and Biblical doctrine and teaches that mankind should be separated into various ethnic minority groups.

With CRT, people are encouraged to identify with their ethnicity (which CRT thought-leaders inaccurately label “race”), rather than with greater and more significant distinguishing factors, like Jesus, their nation, or their community.

It’s also important to understand that Critical Race Theory – although it may seem counter-intuitive – doesn’t just deal with race. CRT promotes division between “identity groups,” dividing people into either the “oppressor class” (usually, White and “straight” men holding to the majority religion) versus “victim identity groups” which can include so-called “sexual minorities,” the disabled, abuse victims, women, the “transgender,” as well as ethnic groups.

CRT is used by homosexuals, the transgender, and women as much as it is used by ethnic minorities.


In CRT, “whiteness” refers to anything identifying with power or privilege as it relates to the “majority class” (usually, those who hold ethnic or religious majority). For CRT theorists, to be white is to have privilege, and to have privilege is to be white. The term, Whiteness, as used in CRT, refers to any majority group that has majority status and – in the world of CRT – that is synonymous with power and privilege.

This concept is actually called Whiteness Critical Theory. Because CRT views race as a pure social construct, anyone who enjoys social, political, racial, economic, or cultural standing that is better than the average can be classified as a part of the “White Identity Class” whether or not they are Caucasian, have light skin, or are of European descent.

Likewise in CRT, being “black” means one’s identification with oppression (much of this is from the work of James Cone who founded Black Liberation Theology and went so far as to say Jesus was black because he identified with the oppressed). In this sense, one can be “black” even if they do not have dark skin or African or Islander ancestry, so long as they identify themselves with an oppressed people group.

In CRT, it’s impossible for someone identifying with an oppressed people group to be racist, because they have created the equation “racism = bigotry + power.” If someone doesn’t have power because they’re not a part of an “oppressor (majority) class,” it is impossible – Critical Race Theorists say – for them to be racists. Therefore, they argue, black people cannot be racist.

However, Asians who succeed in America, CRT holds, can be racist because they are White by virtue of their overall class success. Therefore, even though Asians are in an ethnic minority in America, they are successful, so they are really apart of the White oppressor class. And if there are homosexuals who are white, because they face bigotry, they have “blackness” and are not considered to have oppressive “whiteness.”

CRT teaches that all white people (unless they can identify with another minority group like the disabled, homosexual, transgender, or victims) suffer from racism, because they have power and exhibit “micro-aggressions” (invisible or unperceivable slights of language and behavior that indicate the person is secretly a racist) that demonstrate bigotry. Consider the words of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary provost, Matt Hall.

In CRT, the only way to not be attacked as a racist is to preemptively admit your racism. Admitting your racism, white supremacy, privilege, or bigotry means that one has properly repented for their secret thoughts of supremacism. In CRT, the worst and most bigoted thing a white person can do is say they’re not racist, which – in the view of CRT – means that you surely are.


The Bibel says, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Color-blindness – because ethnicity is not important to God and he’s not a respecter of persons – is far more aligned to a Biblical worldview than CRT, which views race as the analytical tool through which we should understand the world.

As believers in Jesus, we should be setting aside race, rather than highlighting it.

God wants to bring together people from every ethnic group into one (Revelation 7:9), not divide them by identity category so that they might endlessly fight one another.

via 4 Main Things Christians Need to Know About Critical Race Theory — Pulpit & Pen

Guns Do Not Kill People | Sputnik International

Like everyone else, I condemn the two mass shootings in the US. However, unlike the Democrats who could not wait to make political capital out of the tragedy or the MSM who didn’t miss a heartbeat in denouncing this as ‘far-right terror’ and repeating that the terrorist was white, I think the slaughter deserves more careful consideration.

Brendan Cox, the husband of murdered MP Jo Cox, was the first to attack Trump even before the MSM, by declaring straight away on Twitter at 8.40 Sunday morning that, “If this turns out to be anti-Latino far-right inspired @realDonaldTrump will have blood on his hands. If you incite hatred against minorities, talk of “invasion”, call them “animals” and “rapists” you can’t feign surprise when extremists act.”

What utter nonsense. Sixth Form debating standard if I am being generous.

‘Saint Brendan’ uses selected words from Trump from years ago to make his foul point.

Does he really believe there is a causal link as flimsy as that?

Also, of course, the alleged killer left behind a manifesto where he explicitly said it was not about Trump.

Now, as more information comes out about this mass murderer Patrick Crusius, it is becoming clearer that the man had severe mental health problems.

However, unlike the left, the Democrats and the broadcast media on both sides of the pond that is where I am going to stop my speculating about the man. We and the States have a judicial system and that must now take its course.

The mainstream media on both sides of the Atlantic were really keen to link both atrocities to the Far Right or white supremacists immediately. Unfortunately for them, it is now emerging that, far from being far-right, it would appear that Connor Betts, the Dayton mass killer was actually left-wing!

Even CNN are now saying, “A Twitter account that appears to belong to Dayton mass shooter Connor Betts retweeted extreme left-wing and anti-police posts, as well as tweets supporting Antifa, or anti-fascist, protesters.”

Oh, dear is that the Clinton News Network dropping another clanger?

It is also strange that most of the coverage on the BBC and Sky News seems to concentrate on the Far-right mass murder rather than the Antifa supporter, I wonder why?

Well, actually I don’t wonder at all as I know exactly why.

It is because the MSM are in the same camp as all the Trump haters who only see violence on the right of politics. This has to stop but of course, it never will.

A memorial to shooting victims in the Oregon District following on August 05, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio.


A memorial to shooting victims in the Oregon District following on August 05, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio.

Barack Obama, the useless ex Youth Club leader, and one of the worst US Presidents has now jumped in saying, “the El Paso shooting follows a dangerous trend: troubled individuals who embrace racist ideologies and see themselves obligated to act violently to preserve white supremacy.” Sorry to burst your liberal bubble Obama but the Dayton bomber was a lefty like you!

However, biased Barack continues, “Like the followers of ISIS and other foreign terrorist organizations, these individuals may act alone, but they’ve been radicalized by white nationalist websites that proliferate on the internet.”


Apart from one word I agree with his next statement, “That means that both law enforcement agencies and internet platforms need to come up with better strategies to reduce the influence of these hate groups.” Correct but he should have replaced “these” with the word “all.” I wonder why he didn’t use it?

No, I do not wonder, again I know exactly why he didn’t use the word “All” and so do you.

However, to be fair, I largely agree with him and the bizarre thing is that so does Trump who in his speech yesterday said, “These barbaric slaughters are an assault upon our communities, an attack upon our nation, and a crime against all of humanity. We are outraged and sickened by this monstrous evil, the cruelty, the hatred, the malice, the bloodshed, and the terror.”

However, unlike Obama, Trump talked about both attacks and how could anyone argue with this statement, “The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate. In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul.”

Bang on Mr President!

However, the mainstream media have appeared to ignore this and instead have accused Trump of diversion from his alleged ‘culpability’ in the affair as Brendan Cox was so keen to push even as victims were still fighting for their lives in hospital.

I despise this stinking hypocrisy and insensitivity on the left of politics. They love to virtue signal but are always the first with the attacks, both in words and actions, but always claim the high moral ‘progressive’ ground.

It is a terrifying statistic that according to CBS news there have been, “As of Aug. 5, which was the 217th day of the year, there have been 255 mass shootings in the U.S. They define a mass shooting as any incident in which at least four people were shot, excluding the shooter.

Bodies are removed from at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Several people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said

© AP Photo / John Minchillo

Bodies are removed from at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Several people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said

However, as CBS points out this statistic puts 2019 on pace to be the first year since 2016 with an average of more than one mass shooting a day.

And who was President then Mr Obama? Who was President when the Columbine massacre happened Barack? Wasn’t it Democrat Bill Clinton? Or how about the Sandy Hook massacre, need I go on?

This savagery and senseless slaughter will not stop simply by politicians on both sides queuing up to give meaningless soundbites. What is needed is real action which it appears is what Trump was calling for yesterday when he said, “Now is the time to set destructive partisanship aside — so destructive — and find the courage to answer hatred with unity, devotion, and love. Our future is in our control. America will rise to the challenge. We will always have and we always will win. The choice is ours and ours alone. It is not up to mentally ill monsters; it is up to us.”

Who can argue with that?

What a pity this isn’t being reported widely. The MSM were falling over themselves to report on Obama when he was trying to introduce gun laws but as has been proved here madmen don’t need guns they can use knives, are you listening to Sadiq Kahn, they can use illegal guns and of course they can make bombs on their elderly foster parents’ kitchen table. As a weapon of last resort, of course, terrorists of all sides can always resort to a lorry or car to slaughter innocents.

I do have strong reservations about automatic machine guns being available and about the nature of checks on the person buying a gun but I agree with the fact that the right to carry a gun is enshrined in the US constitution. So, I certainly don’t feel it is my job, my place or the place of any bleeding heart over here to dictate to Americans.

But the guns, just like knife amnesties in London are a total sideshow to the main problem that all sides of the political debate and the media have to address which is the hypocrisy of the political elite and their lickspittle mates in the MSM to confront and condemn all political violence.

I note that no one is imploring us to change our twitter avatars, sing Kumbaya or not look back in anger over these dreadful terror attacks.

I note also that Trump is being snidely attacked by Sky news and the BBC for daring to mention that this could be a mental health issue although over here Theresa May and common purpose Chief Constables love to use that line when it is Islamist terror.

Police arrive after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, U.S. August 3, 2019

© Photo : Jorge Salgado

Police arrive after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, U.S. August 3, 2019

Again, the media love nothing better to cover and bleat about a Brexit punch up or a Tommy Robinson demo that has a few hotheads acting like morons but they always seem strangely quiet on the riots that are happening all over France?

Social media companies are so keen to virtue signal that they close down and attempt to silence any conservative voices who dare to challenge their PC beliefs.

As a result, there is no real debate on these platforms anymore as the rabid anti-free speech mob are quick to anger and then mobilise and start shouting obscenities at anyone who diverts from their pathetic world view whether its Brexit, Trump, veganism, transphobia or law and order.

This world is becoming more polarised and of course, there is a threat from extremists on all sides but please spare me the cobblers that it is all about just a rising tide of islamophobia, the far-right or white supremacists.

Let’s instead focus on the real issue which is this. There is a global, largely unelected, elite who do not believe in nationhood, country’s or even democracy who are ignoring the wishes of the people around the globe whether it is is in the UK, USA, France, Italy or Germany.

These people are the real problem as they are the anti-democrats, the real fascists. Until they accept or are forced to accept the will of the people and in the case of Brexit give losers consent I am afraid all of our democracies are living on top of a tinder box.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Source: Guns Do Not Kill People

Gallup: 71% of Americans Say No to Banning Possession of Handguns | CNS News


(CNSNews.com) — In the wake of the terrible mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, the Gallup polling firm has posted its “Guide to U.S. Public Opinion on Guns” on its website. The information posted shows that in Gallup’s last survey on whether to ban handguns, from October 2018, 71% of American adults said, “no.”

In addition, the surveys show that 43% of Americans have a gun in their home, and that 57% of Americans oppose making it illegal to manufacture, sell, or own semi-automatic guns “known as assault rifles,” such as the AR-15.  (The AR stands for ArmaLite Rifle, not for “assault rifle.”)


In the survey from Oct. 1-10, 2018, Gallup asked, “Do you think there should or should not be a law that would ban the possession of handguns [pistols and revolvers], except by the police and other authorized persons?” Seventy-one percent said no, there “should not be” such a law and only 28% said yes, there “should be” such a law. In 2017, the numbers were the same. In 2016, 76% said no to banning such firearms.

In that same Oct. 1-10, 2018 survey, 43% of American adults said “yes,” they “do” have a gun in their home; 55% said they do not have a gun in their home.

Also, Gallup asked, “Are you for or against a law which would make it illegal to manufacture, sell or possess semi-automatic guns known as assault rifles?” Fifty-seven percent of Americans no, they are “against” such a law; 40% said yes, they are “for” such a law.

In a June 1-13, 2018 survey, Gallup asked, “What is your overall opinion of the National Rifle Association, also known as the NRA — is it very favorable, mostly favorable, mostly unfavorable or very unfavorable?”


Twenty-eight percent said “very favorable” and 25% said “mostly favorable” — a combined 53% favorable. On the other hand, 16% said “mostly unfavorable” and 26% said “very unfavorable,” for a combined 42% unfavorable.

In an Oct. 7-1, 2015 survey, 56% of Americans said the country would be safer if more people carried concealed weapons. Also, an Oct. 12-15, 2014 poll found that 63% of Americans believe having a gun in the house makes it a “safer” place to be.


In an Oct. 3-6, 2013 survey, Gallup reported that 60% of adults said they own a gun for “personal safety/protection,” and 36% said they had a gun for “hunting.”

In a Feb. 8-10, 2008 poll, Gallup asked, “Do you believe the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the rights of Americans to own guns, or do you believe it only guarantees members of state militias such as National Guard units the right to own guns?”


Seventy-three percent of adults said the Constitution guarantees the rights of Americans to own guns. Only 20% said it applied to “state militia members.”

An April 2005 survey showed that 62% of Americans believe airplanes “would be safer places” if “pilots were armed with guns.”

Source: Gallup: 71% of Americans Say No to Banning Possession of Handguns

Ron Paul Blasts American Militarism: “Congress’ Spending Surge Is National Suicide” | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity,

With a national debt approaching $23 trillion and a trillion dollar deficit for this year alone, Congress last week decided to double down on suicidal spending, passing a two year budget that has the United States careening toward catastrophe. While we cannot say precisely when the economic crash will occur, we do know that it is coming. And last week Congress pounded down on the accelerator.

We are told that the US economy is experiencing unprecedented growth, while at the same time the Fed is behaving as it does when we are in recession by cutting rates… and dodging insults from the President because it’s not cutting fast enough. This is not economic policy – it’s schizophrenia!

But that’s only the beginning.

Take what they call “national defense” spending. This is the misnomer they use to try and convince us that pumping trillions into the military-industrial complex will make us safe and free. Nothing could be further from the truth: probably ninety percent of the “defense” budget is aggressive militarism and welfare for the rich.

Under this budget deal the military budget would increase to nearly $1.4 trillion for two years. Of course that’s only a fraction of real military spending, which is, all told, well over one trillion dollars per year.

What do we get for this money? Are we safer? Not at all. We are more vulnerable than ever. We spend billions fighting “terrorism” in Africa while terrorism has actually increased since the creation of the US Africa Command – “AFRICOM” – in 2007. Meanwhile we continue to spend to maintain our illegal military occupation of a large section of Syria – which benefits terrorist groups seeking to overthrow Assad.

We’re sending thousands more troops to the Middle East including basing US troops in Saudi Arabia for the first time since 2003. Back then, even neocon Paul Wolfowitz praised our departure from Saudi Arabia because, as he rightly stated, US troops on Saudi soil was a great recruiting tool for al-Qaeda.

Now we’ve pulled out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty so that we can deploy once-forbidden missiles on China’s front door. A new arms race with China will mean a new boon for our new Defense Secretary’s former colleagues at Raytheon!

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) pronounced the Tea Party dead with the adoption of this budget. He’s right of course, but only when it comes to Congress. Given the opportunity, I still believe a good part of the American people will vote for candidates who promise to rein in the national credit card. President Trump himself ran on a platform of ending deficit spending and even paying off the national debt!

So the Tea Party may be dead in Washington, but I am not convinced it was ever really alive in Washington. With a few exceptions, most politicians saw the Tea Party as just the flavor of the month. Spending is what keeps Washington alive and keeps the DC suburbs rich. They’re not about to cut back on their own.

But the spending will end. The trillions thrown down the drain on militarism will end. The only question is whether it will end when we are completely bankrupt and at the mercy of countries we’ve kicked around for decades or whether Americans will demand an end to bipartisan addiction to war and spending in Washington!

Source: Ron Paul Blasts American Militarism: “Congress’ Spending Surge Is National Suicide”

White House Rips Democrats For Blaming Trump For Shootings, Fundraising Off Tragedies — The Gateway Pundit

Within a few hours of two horrific mass shootings that left 32 dead and 52 wounded, prominent Democrats began blaming President Trump.

It didn’t matter that one of the shooters reportedly hated Trump and was a backer of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren. And it didn’t matter that both shooters were clearly suffering from mental illness (they did, after all, decide that killing a slew of people was a smart idea). To Democrats, Trump — and Trump alone — was to blame.

But White House counselor Kellyanne Conway fired back on Tuesday, saying Trump is “trying to bring the country together and heal a nation.”

“There is a huge difference … between running your mouth and running for president, and being the president and trying to bring together a nation,” Conway said on “Fox & Friends.”

“The president did not respond in kind. They politicized this over the weekend. They all blamed him and I want to name and shame them now. … They want to be president? He is the president. And he is trying to bring the country together and have bipartisan, bicameral steps.”

Conway also pointed out that Warren immediately began “raising money” for Senate Democratic candidates “in an email appeal talking about mass shootings.”

“This is a disgrace and if no one else is going to talk about it, I’m going to talk about it,” Conway said.

After the mass shootings over the weekend, several 2020 candidates immediately called Trump racist.

“Jesus Christ, of course he’s racist,” Robert “Beto” O’Rourke said on MSNBC.

O’Rourke went on a profane tirade as well. “What do you think?” O’Rourke reportedly said. “You know the s— he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know, like, members of the press, what the f—?”

On Tuesday, Conway blasted O’Rourke.

“Beto O’Rourke — from the Vanity Fair magazine cover to the vanity project candidacy — out there screaming and cursing about President Trump. That doesn’t heal a single soul. That doesn’t help to prevent another mass shooting,” she said.

Conway also said Republicans didn’t tie then-President Barack Obama to the shooting of then-House Majority Whip Steve Scalise,  critically wounded in a 2017 shooting at a congressional baseball game practice. The shooter was a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“When Bernie Sanders’ supporter … shot up Steve Scalise who was within inches of his life, and others on that baseball field two years ago, we didn’t run out and say that he was hunting down Republicans and that he was a Bernie Sanders supporter,” Conway said. “We were worried about Steve Scalise’s life being saved. That was absolutely the darkest day in this White House in its first year in my opinion.”

After the shootings, Trump delivered a somber statement from the White House on Monday. He laid out several avenues as potential solutions, called for unity and bipartisanship, soothed Americans as the comforter-in-chief and loudly denounced racism and white supremacy.

“Together, we lock arms to shoulder the grief, we ask God in Heaven to ease the anguish of those who suffer, and we vow to act with urgent resolve,” Trump said.

“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America.”

“Now is the time to set destructive partisanship aside — so destructive — and find the courage to answer hatred with unity, devotion, and love,” he said.

Conway said Trump is saying exactly what needs to be said.

“He’s denouncing white supremacy, and they’re out there denouncing him,” Conway said. “America, take a look, and don’t forget it.”

via White House Rips Democrats For Blaming Trump For Shootings, Fundraising Off Tragedies — The Gateway Pundit

Tiananmen Square 2.0? Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters Will Be ‘Punished’ — Military Intervention Possible | ZeroHedge News

As the situation in Hong Kong continues to deteriorate, Beijing has issued a warning that protesters would soon be punished for “criminal acts,” and has refused to rule out military force to quell ongoing anti-government demonstrations, according to The Telegraph.

According to a spokesman for the Beijing-controlled Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, demonstrators are causing “Hong Kong to slide into a dangerous abyss,” adding “As for their punishment, it’s only a matter of time.

The Chinese government will never allow any acts that challenge national unity, sovereignty or security, he said, sternly reminding residents that the People’s Liberation Army was a “strong and reliable force that defends every inch of its territory.”

In a jab at protesters, Mr Yang referred to their main slogan, “Reclaim Hong Kong, revolution of our times,” by reminding them Hong Kong was a part of China, saying, “I want to ask those people shouting this, ‘what of Hong Kong do you want to reclaim? Where exactly do you want to reclaim Hong Kong to?” –Telegraph

Meanwhile, over 12,000 Shenzhen police officers conducted a publicly broadcasted crowd-control drill – offering protesters a taste of what’s to come.

“A drill will be held to increase troop morale, practise and prepare for the security of celebrations, [and] maintain national political security and social stability,” according to police.

In live videos of the police drills shown on the Yizhibo network, officers in body armour, helmets and shields confronted groups of people in black shirts and red or yellow construction safety helmets – similar to those worn by Hong Kong protesters – who were holding flags, banners, batons and wooden boards. –SCMP

Police on Monday fired over 800 rounds of tear gas, 140 rubber bullets and 20 sponge rounds (according to official figures), while 148 people were arrested between the ages of 13 and 63.

Monday represented a significant escalation of violence. Until then, police had fired 1,000 rounds of tear gas, 150 of sponge grenades and 160 rounds of rubber bullets in two months of protests. –SCMP

Hong Kong authorities, meanwhile, have refused to meet any of the protesters’ demands – after what began as a protest against an extradition bill – and has expanded into a general anti-government protest.

Beijing has accused foreign actors – including the United States – of “meddling” in Hong Kong in order to destabilize Chinese rule over the region. Also blamed? Poor family values and education for encouraging degeneracy among the youth, while “stressing that better national education was needed to promote patriotism,” according to the report.

The ominous words came as official state media circulated a video of mainland Chinese police engaging in anti-riot drills in Shenzhen, a city just across the border from Hong Kong, shooting tear gas and charging at protesters dressed in black in scenes that resemble the current clashes.

On Monday, Hong Kong was paralysed with more than 200 flights cancelled, widespread disruption to subway services, and tumult on the roads as protesters cut electricity to traffic lights and flooded main avenues. –Telegraph

Source: Tiananmen Square 2.0? Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters Will Be ‘Punished’ — Military Intervention Possible

August 6, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (7:25)

Here is one of the most beautiful verses in Scripture. Like John 3:16, it contains the whole essence of the gospel. Salvation is the main theme of the entire Bible. Salvation is what the text is all about.

Jesus’ priesthood not only is eternal and unalterable, but is also unlimited in its scope. He saves forever (panteles). Although the meaning in the context of 7:25 can be that of eternal, the basic idea of the word is that of completeness or perfection. The King James translation (“to the uttermost”) is therefore accurate and significant. Jesus’ priesthood is no halfway measure, as were the old sacrifices that only symbolized removal of sin. The symbol was important for that covenant. It was God-given and God-required, but still was only a symbol. But Jesus Christ is able to save both eternally and completely.

We can learn some things about God from nature. Paul recognizes that God’s “eternal power and divine nature,” that is, His greatness and His glory, are evident for every person to see (Rom. 1:18–20). We call such evidence natural revelation. But it is limited revelation. The birds can suggest to us God’s beauty, but they do not sing redemption’s song. The ocean and its pounding waves can suggest God’s greatness and His dependability, but they do not proclaim the gospel. The stars declare the glory of God, but not the way to get to Him. Natural revelation, like the Old Testament sacrifices, is God-given. It is the nature He Himself has made that proclaims His greatness and glory. But we can only learn about salvation from special revelation, from His written Word, the Bible. When people say they can find God on the beach or on the golf course or at the lake, it is a very superficial claim. In nature, we cannot possibly see clearly God’s judgment on sin or His goodness or His grace or His redemption or His Son. In nature we cannot see the need for salvation or the way to salvation. These are only seen with spiritual eyes, through the revelation of His Word.

Within the few words of Hebrews 7:25 we can see salvation’s basis, its nature, its power, its objects, and its security.

the basis of salvation

Hence, of course, refers to what has just been said—namely, that Jesus’ priesthood is permanent, eternal. He can save forever because He exists and ministers forever. The basis of salvation is Jesus Christ’s divine eternality.

the power of salvation

The power of salvation is Christ’s ability—He is able. Other priests were never able to save, not even partially or temporarily. The old sacrifices partially and temporarily covered sin, but they did not even partially or temporarily remove sin. They did not to any degree or for any length of time bring deliverance from sin. But Jesus Christ is able, perfectly able.

A friend of mine had a little boy who, at the age of four, was found to have leukemia. One of our own sons was the same age. When I visited the stricken boy in the hospital, I felt particularly heartbroken and helpless. I had the strongest desire to make him well. I would have done anything in my power to bring that little fellow back to perfect health. I was completely willing, but I was not able to. I did not have the power.

Many, perhaps most, of the priests of the Old Covenant were willing to cleanse the people of sin; but they could not, no matter how strongly they desired it. But our great High Priest is not only willing, He is also able—absolutely able. Praise God for Christ, who is able!

Evangelicals are often criticized for claiming that Jesus Christ is the only way to God. The reason we make this claim is that this is what the Bible teaches. Jesus Himself said “No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Jesus not only is able to save, but He is the only One able to save. He is the only One who has the power of salvation (Acts 4:12).

the nature of salvation

The nature of salvation is bringing men near to God. By delivering from sin, it qualifies believers to come to God. Deliverance from sin has all three of the major tenses—past, present, and future. In the past tense, we have been freed from sin’s guilt. In the present tense, we are freed from sin’s power. In the future tense, we shall be freed from sin’s presence. So we can say, “I have been saved,” “I am saved” (or “I am being saved”), and “I shall be saved.” All these statements are true; all are scriptural. Together they represent the full, complete nature of our salvation.

the objects of salvation

The objects of Christ’s eternal salvation, of course, are those who come to Him to be saved, those who draw near to God through Him. There are no restrictions but this, no other qualification but faith in God’s Son. “The one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (John 6:37). There is no other way but Jesus, but this way is open to every person who puts his trust in Him. The other side of this truth is that Jesus can save only those who come to Him in faith. He is able to save all, but not all will be saved, because not all will believe.

We are tempted to think that when we have presented the gospel, presented the truth of salvation, that our obligation is over. But there must be a response to the gospel for it to be able to save. Parents need continually to remember this fact when teaching their children the things of God. We cannot make them believe or make them obey, but our responsibility is not over until we have urged them as strongly as we know how to trust in the Savior of whom they have heard.

the security of salvation

He always lives to make intercession for us. The security of our salvation is Jesus’ perpetual intercession for us. We can no more keep ourselves saved than we can save ourselves in the first place. But just as Jesus has power to save us, He has power to keep us. Constantly, eternally, perpetually Jesus Christ intercedes for us before His Father. Whenever we sin He says to the Father, “Put that on My account. My sacrifice has already paid for it.” Through Jesus Christ, we are able to “stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy” (Jude 24). In His Son we are now blameless in the Father’s sight. When we are glorified we will be blameless in His presence.[1]

25. Wherefore he is able to save, &c. This is the fruit of an eternal priesthood, even our salvation, if indeed we gather this fruit by faith as we ought to do. For where death is or a change, you will there seek salvation in vain; hence they who cleave to the ancient priesthood, can never attain salvation. When he says, them that come unto God, or who approach God, by this phrase he points out the faithful who alone enjoy the salvation procured by Christ; but he yet at the same time indicates what faith ought to regard in a mediator. The chief good of man is to be united to his God, with whom is the fountain of life and of all blessings; but their own unworthiness drives all away from any access to him. Then the peculiar office of a Mediator is to bring us help in this respect, and to stretch out his hand to us that he may lead us to heaven. And he ever alludes to the ancient shadows of the Law; for though the high priest carried the names of the twelve tribes on his shoulders and symbols on his breast, yet he alone entered the sanctuary, while the people stood in the court. But now by relying on Christ the Mediator we enter by faith into heaven, for there is no longer any veil intervening, but God appears to us openly, and lovingly invites us to a familiar access.

Seeing he ever liveth, &c. What sort of pledge and how great is this of love towards us! Christ liveth for us, not for himself! That he was received into a blessed immortality to reign in heaven, this has taken place, as the Apostle declares, for our sake. Then the life, and the kingdom, and the glory of Christ are all destined for our salvation as to their object; nor has Christ any thing which may not be applied to our benefit; for he has been given to us by the Father once for all on this condition, that all his should be ours. He at the same time teaches us by what Christ is doing, that he is performing his office as a priest; for it belongs to a priest to intercede for the people, that they may obtain favour with God. This is what Christ is ever doing, for it was for this purpose that he rose again from the dead. Then of right, for his continual intercession, he claims for himself the office of the priesthood.[2]

25 It is Jesus’ eternity that makes him the perfect Savior. “Completely” translates the phrase eis to panteles, which can be taken either of degree (“wholly, totally”) or of time (“forever”). In this discussion of mortality and immortality, the latter sense would clearly be appropriate, but since a “total” salvation must be one that is “for all time,” the two senses are not in competition. The nature of that salvation is succinctly summed up in the phrase “come to God through him.” The Christian privilege of entering the presence of God, for which Paul uses the evocative term prosagōgē, “access” (Ro 5:2; Eph 2:18; 3:12), is expressed equally powerfully by our author with the simple term “to come to” God, which recurs in 4:16; 10:1, 22; 11:6 and will be vividly illustrated by the imagery of “coming to” the two mountains in 12:18, 22 (cf. “draw near to God,” v. 19). But just as the OT priests acted as intermediaries for the people, so we too need the services of a priest to introduce us to the divine presence; we come to God “through him.”

As the argument develops, it will become clear that the primary sense in which we come to God “through Jesus” is that he has offered on our behalf the perfect sacrifice. But the priests in the OT had also another function, not so often mentioned—the role of intercession for the people before God (perhaps best exemplified by Moses, Ex 32:11–14, 30–32, but also symbolized in the high priest’s “bearing the names of the sons of Israel over his heart … as a continuing memorial before the Lord,” Ex 28:29), and that role too is fulfilled by our high priest. Whereas his sacrifice was offered once for all, his intercession continues, and that is why we need a high priest who “always lives.” While he was on earth, Jesus prayed for his people (Lk 22:32; Jn 17), and Paul speaks in Romans 8 not only of the Spirit pleading on our behalf but also of Jesus interceding for us at God’s right hand (Ro 8:26, 34; cf. also 1 Jn 2:1). The theme may not be frequently mentioned, but it is a vital source of pastoral assurance and one without which the process of our salvation would be incomplete (cf. 9:24).[3]

25 Those who have Christ as their high priest and mediator with God have in him a Savior whose saving power is available without end, not liable to the mischances of mortal life. He lives eternally, eternally engaged to bless and protect those who have committed themselves to him. The way of approach to God through him is a way which is always open, because in the presence of God he represents his people as “a priest for ever.” He is no mediator in the ordinary sense, a go-between who places his good offices at the disposal of two parties in the hope of bringing them to agreement. He is the unique Mediator between God and mankind because he combines Godhead and manhood perfectly in his own person; in him God draws near to men and women and in him men and women may draw near to God, with the assurance of constant and immediate access.

What is our Lord’s special function as his people’s high priest with God, apart from ensuring their never-failing acceptance before God? In 2:17f. we have been told that he became high priest to make atonement for his people’s sins and strengthen them in temptation; in 4:15f. we have been told that he sympathizes with their weakness and supplies the mercy and grace to help them in time of need. Here his high-priestly function is summed up in terms of intercession: “he lives continuously to intercede for them.” The intercessory work of Christ at the right hand of God is not a doctrine peculiar to our author; it appears in one of Paul’s great lyric outbursts:

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?

It is God who justifies; who is to condemn?

It is Christ Jesus who died,

yes, who was raised from the dead,

who is at the right hand of God,

who indeed intercedes for us. (Rom. 8:33f.)

In these words we may trace the echo of an early Christian confession of faith, which, in addition to acknowledging the death, resurrection, and enthronement of Christ, made mention also of his intercessory ministry. We may also trace the echo of the fourth Servant Song, where the Servant of the Lord, once humbled and put to shame but now highly exalted, is said to have made, or to be making, “intercession for the transgressors.” This is one of the statements about the Servant which indicate that his ministry is priestly, as well as prophetic and royal.

But the teaching and action of Jesus on earth must have encouraged his disciples to recognize in him their all-prevailing intercessor. “I have prayed for you,” he said to Simon Peter at the Last Supper, “that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32). If it be asked what form his heavenly intercession takes, what better answer can be given than that he still does for his people at the right hand of God what he did for Peter on earth? And the prayer recorded in John 17, also belonging to the same night in which he was betrayed, is well called (after David Chytraeus) his high-priestly prayer, and (such is the affinity of mind between the Fourth Evangelist and our present author) a careful study of John 17 will help us considerably to understand what is intended here when our Lord is described as making intercession for those who come to God through him.

It is important to emphasize this, for the character of our Lord’s intercession has at times been grotesquely misrepresented in popular Christian thought. He is not to be thought of “as an orante, standing ever before the Father with outstretched arms, like the figures in the mosaics of the catacombs, and with strong crying and tears pleading our cause in the presence of a reluctant God; but as a throned Priest-King, asking what he will from a Father who always hears and grants his request. Our Lord’s life in heaven is his prayer.”

But our Lord’s life in heaven is the life of one who has been brought back from the death which he endured when he gave himself as a sacrifice for his people’s sins. In the language of the Apocalypse, it is as the Lamb once slain that he exercises world dominion from the heavenly throne (Rev. 5:6–14). The appearance in God’s presence of the Crucified One constitutes his perpetual and prevalent intercession. His once-completed self-offering is utterly acceptable and efficacious; his contact with the Father is immediate and unbroken; his priestly ministry on his people’s behalf is never ending, and therefore the salvation which he secures to them is absolute.[4]

25 With “therefore” the pastor expounds the implications of Christ’s final and absolute priesthood for his hearers: “he is able to save completely those who come to God through him.” The pastor has chosen the phrase translated “completely” with intention.100 His purpose is to emphasize that the “eternal priest” has an absolute priesthood and thus can save to the fullest, to the most complete extent. The “law perfected nothing” (v. 19), but the one with the “inviolable” priesthood can save, one might say, to the Nth degree. “Completely” is the most common use of this expression in later Greek.102 The pastor would be thoroughly puzzled by those of his interpreters who try to reduce this term to “forever,” or who attempt to separate “forever” from “completely.” Eternal or final salvation and perseverance in faith and obedience through the complete provision of Christ are “one and inseparable.”104 Christ is able to save so “completely” that his people are able to persevere until the end and thus be saved “forever.” The pastor knows of no final or “forever” salvation that is not the result of perseverance through the completed work of Christ. That is why he is so eager and urgent that his hearers persevere in faith and obedience. He earnestly desires them to avail themselves of Christ’s ability to save them “completely.”

This strong desire is the reason why the pastor describes this complete salvation as being for “those who come to God through him.” The term translated “come to” is very close in meaning to the word translated “draw near” at the end of v. 19. Both “come to” and “draw near” are used in the LXX for the approach of both priests and people to God in worship. However, the Greek OT uses the word we have translated “come to” in one way when it refers to priests, in another when to the people of God. The priests “come to” the altar, veil, or Holy Place. The people, however, only “come to,” “before” God or “before” the Lord, for they cannot approach the altar itself. Christ has saved so completely, however, that he has done away with this distinction. The faithful need not come “before” God or his altar but directly to God himself through Christ and the sacrifice he has offered. The pastor implicitly invites his hearers to join those who take advantage of all Christ has done by thus coming to God through him. All that the pastor will say about Christ’s high priesthood from now until 10:18 is aimed at encouraging and enabling them to do so. Thus in 10:22 he makes this invitation explicit: “come with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” However, “those who come to God through him” also contains a germ of warning. If the hearers cease to thus draw near, they will forfeit these benefits (cf. 10:26–31).

The pastor concludes with a final affirmation of Christ’s competence by freshly restating the burden of v. 24: “Because he is always living to make intercession for them.” The participle “living,” like “to remain” above, is often used to describe God (Heb 3:12; 9:14; 10:31; 12:22; cf. 4:12; 10:20). It is intensified by the use of “always,” and harks back to the “indestructible life” of v. 15, the “he lives” of v. 6, and the “having neither beginning of days nor end of life” in v. 3. The pastor concludes his exposition of this psalm by affirming once again that the Son’s effective priesthood is founded on his sharing the eternal life of the “living” God.

The pastor describes Christ’s present, enduring, postsacrificial ministry as intercession for “those who come to God through him.” The priestly categories the pastor has been using make it natural for him to speak of intercession, even if he uses this term in an unusual way. Christ does not perpetually petition God on behalf of his people.112 His sacrifice has been accepted, and he has taken his seat in the place of all authority at the Father’s right hand “once-for-all” (10:11–15). However, when the recipients of Hebrews hear that Christ “intercedes” for them, they will be encouraged by knowing that he represents them before God.114 They will also remember that God is the ultimate source of their “great salvation” (2:3) revealed and made effective in his Son. When they draw near and receive the “mercy and timely help” (4:15) that Christ so freely gives, they will not forget the ultimate giver. Christ’s intercession results in his providing cleansing for sin, access to God, and grace to overcome all temptation and opposition (4:14–16; 10:19–25; cf. 2:18; 5:2, 7). The pastor concludes this section by reminding his hearers that the eternal Son is there for them and that he is always ready to enable their perseverance.[5]

7:25 / Because Jesus’ priestly work is not hindered by death, he is able to save completely (or “for all time,” rsv; cf. nasb) those who come to God through him. In view here is the quality of the salvation. By its very nature, what Jesus offers is an “eternal salvation” (cf. 5:9; 9:12; 10:14; 13:20) and a perfect or “complete” salvation, unlike the temporary and the incomplete work of the levitical priests. Because is added by niv, being inferred from the participial clause translated he always lives. The priestly work of Christ depends directly on “the power of an indestructible life” (7:16), and it is that same kind of permanence that determines the character of the salvation experienced by its recipients. They are sustained by the continual intercession of Jesus on their behalf. On this point the author is in agreement with Paul (Rom. 8:34; cf. 1 John 2:1).[6]

25. WhereforeGreek, “Whence”; inasmuch as “He remaineth for ever.”

also—as a natural consequence flowing from the last, at the same time a new and higher thing [Alford].

save—His very name Jesus (Heb 7:22) meaning Saviour.

to the uttermost—altogether, perfectly, so that nothing should be wanting afterwards for ever [Tittmann]. It means “in any wise,” “utterly,” in Lu 13:11.

come unto God—by faith.

by himthrough Him as their mediating Priest, instead of through the Levitical priests.

seeing he ever liveth—resuming “He continueth ever,” Heb 7:24; therefore “He is able to the uttermost”; He is not, like the Levitical priest, prevented by death, for “He ever liveth” (Heb 7:23).

to make intercession—There was but the one offering on earth once for all. But the intercession for us in the heavens (Heb 7:26) is ever continuing, whence the result follows, that we can never be separated from the love of God in Christ. He intercedes only for those who come unto God through Him, not for the unbelieving world (Jn 17:9). As samples of His intercession, compare the prophetical descriptions in the Old Testament. “By an humble omnipotency (for it was by His humiliation that He obtained all power), or omnipotent humility, appearing in the presence, and presenting His postulations at the throne of God” [Bishop Pearson]. He was not only the offering, but the priest who offered it. Therefore, He has become not only a sacrifice, but an intercessor; His intercession being founded on His voluntary offering of Himself without spot to God. We are not only then in virtue of His sacrifice forgiven, but in virtue of the intercession admitted to favor and grace [Archbishop Magee].[7]

Ver. 25.—Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. We again observe how, at the end of successive stages of the argument, thoughts to be enlarged on afterwards are brought in. Here it is the perpetual intercession of Christ before the heavenly mercy-seat. In the view of his office thus arrived at there is, in fact, a transition to the main subject set forth in the three chapters that follow; viz. the fulfillment in Christ of the ceremonial of the Law, and especially of the high priest’s intercession on the Day of Atonement. And thus from Melchizedek the train of thought passes to the high priest. The type of the former has been sufficiently shown to be fulfilled in the higher order of Christ’s priesthood; it is now to be shown how, being of such higher order, it is the antitype of the Aaronic priesthood too, accomplishing what it signified. Hence in ver. 26 the word “high priest” (ἀρχιερεὺς) is for the first time introduced, as the key-note of what is coming.

Summary of the foregoing argument.

  1. (ch. 7:1–11.) What does the Melchizedek priesthood of Ps. 110. signify?
  2. (vers. 1–4.) One not depending on human ancestry, and one for ever abiding.
  3. (vers. 4–11.) One of a higher order than that of Aaron; for:

(1)  Melchizedek, being of a race apart, received tithe from Abraham the patriarch.

(2)  This denotes a higher position than that of the Aaronic priests, who tithed their brethren of the same race with themselves, in virtue only of a special ordinance.

(3)  The blessing of Abraham by Melchizedek is similarly significant.

(4)  The idea of an ever-living priest with a right to tithe transcends that of the temporary claims of a succession of dying men.

(5)  Levi himself virtually paid tithe to Melchizedek.

  1. (vers. 11–18.) The Aaronic priesthood, and with it the whole dispensation based upon it, is thus shown to have been imperfect and transitory; for:
  2. Otherwise a priesthood of another order would not have been spoken of in Ps. 110.
  3. Which priesthood is evidently distinct from the Aaronic, our Lord being of the tribe, not of Levi, but of Judah.
  4. What has been seen (vers. 5 and 8) as to the Melehizedek priesthood being not “after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life,” makes this “more abundantly evident.”

Conclusion (vers. 18–20). The Aaronic priesthood (being in itself unprofitable) is therefore now superseded by an availing one, “through which we draw nigh unto God.”

III. (vers. 20–26) Christ’s priesthood is thus availing; for:

  1. The Divine oath (Ps. 110.) established it, marking it as resting on the eternal Divine counsels.
  2. It is (as shown by the same psalm) “unchangeable.” The one Priest abides for ever.

Conclusion (ver. 25). We have, therefore, in him at last, a perfectly availing and eternal interceding High Priest.[8]

His limitless power (7:25a)

It is also possible to translate these words for all time (eis to panteles) as ‘completely’ (niv), ‘fully’, or ‘absolutely’ (neb). The phrase is doubtless a further reference to the far-reaching effects and unlimited adequacy of Christ’s saving work. His power knows no limits and his life knows no end. He is able to save his people fully and completely. Nothing is necessary to supplement their salvation. They are not saved by a little believing plus a little doing. He achieves it absolutely by his victorious work and, moreover, he can save them now. The tense of the verb is of the greatest importance here. It is present tense (sōzein), reminding us, as Westcott says, that ‘support comes at each moment of trial’.

His present ministry (7:25b)

Although this letter has so much to say about Christ’s redemptive work on the cross in the past, ‘once and for all’, it also emphasizes his present work for his people. His saving mission complete, he now supports and sustains us through his intercessory ministry. Day by day and hour by hour Christ prays for us. We ought to pay special attention to this aspect of Christ’s present work, especially in the light of this letter’s Jewish background.

The rabbis maintained that intercession on behalf of people was a ministry entrusted to the angels and especially to Michael the archangel. Here, yet again, Christ is portrayed as one who as priest exercises an intercessory role far superior to the angels in the Jewish tradition. He intercedes for us meaningfully for, unlike the angels, he has first-hand experience of our trials. He intercedes for us compassionately, for, unlike the angels, he knows exactly what we need. He intercedes for us effectively, for, unlike the angels, he has the power to meet our need.

During his earthly ministry Jesus prayed for his friends. The early Christian people rejoiced at the thought that his effective intercessory ministry was not confined to his life on earth; it is continued in heaven.7[9]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (pp. 199–201). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews (pp. 174–175). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] France, R. T. (2006). Hebrews. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 100). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Bruce, F. F. (1990). The Epistle to the Hebrews (Rev. ed., pp. 173–175). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[5] Cockerill, G. L. (2012). The Epistle to the Hebrews (pp. 334–337). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[6] Hagner, D. A. (2011). Hebrews (p. 110). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[7] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 458). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[8] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Hebrews (p. 187). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[9] Brown, R. (1988). The message of Hebrews: Christ above all (pp. 135–136). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Cru Scrubs Audio of Gospel Coalition Contributor Endorsing Gay Marriage — Pulpit & Pen

We wrote about a Gospel Coalition writer and contributor endorsing gay marriage at the Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) event in this article last week. We pointed out that Gilson is scheduled to speak at an upcoming Women’s Training Network event hosted by TGC, and that Albert Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, and others are knowingly endorsing this subversive lesbian teacher. But now, Cru has deleted the audio links.

When you click the links provided in the post, Gospel Coalition Writer/Speaker Comes Out in Support for Gay Marriage, you now get a 404 error message.

The website itself was revamped to remove Gilson altogether from its public videos altogether, as though Gilson was never there and the talks never happened. Notice who’s missing.

They have put Gilson’s talk behind a Cru log-in link so that only staff people can have access to her gay-affirming sermons.

Indeed, the website says that only staff can view the content now. This was not done in previous years, and was only done after we revealed Gilson’s gay-affirming talks.

This is just one of many Social Justice, liberalizing, gay-affirming sermons associated with the Gospel Coalition that have gone missing in recent weeks.

The Gospel Coalition and “Big Eva” don’t clarify, retract, or repent; they only remove.

However, Gilson is still scheduled to speak at The Gospel Coalition’s event in September (along with another lesbian, Rebecca McLaughlin.

via Cru Scrubs Audio of Gospel Coalition Contributor Endorsing Gay Marriage — Pulpit & Pen

Swipe Riot: Hong Kong Protesters Using Tinder, Pokémon Go To Coordinate | ZeroHedge News

Hong Kong protesters are turning to apps like Tinder and Pokémon Go to coordinate demonstrations throughout the city, as authorities crack down on first-line methods of communication such as WhatsApp, Telegram groups, Signal and the gaming platform Twitch, according to Abacus News.

Illustration: Abacus

The demonstrations began over a proposed extradition bill which would allow mainland China to pluck suspects from Hong Kong. Now in their 10th week, they have devolved into violence and chaos – as demonstrators have had frequent clashes with police. Suffice to say, the ongoing protests wouldn’t be possible without modern technology.

Posting information about protests on Tinder is just one of several creative ways Hongkongers are using tech to mobilise people. For more than eight weeks now, technology has been at the centre of organising demonstrations against a controversial extradition bill.

When the Hong Kong police denied protesters permission to march in one of the city’s suburban neighbourhoods on safety grounds, the protesters decided to say that they weren’t going for a march – they were just showing up for a game of Pokémon Go. –Abacus News

In days past, protesters would distribute leaflets to communicate their political views and coordinate demonstrations. Now, ” the political messages have moved to the cloud, with images sent directly to recipients’ phones – unsolicited,” according to the report.

This poster inviting people for a game of Pokémon Go appeared on Reddit-like forum LIHGK. Besides hunting Pokémon, people were also invited to participate in other activities such as sightseeing to defy the assembly ban. (Picture: lihkh.com)

Hongkongers riding the subway have reported receiving posters via Apple’s AirDrop feature which contain invites to upcoming protests.

The digital tools have also been used to give tourists from mainland China a heads up as to what’s going on, as China’s ‘great firewall’ has largely prevented those without VPN workarounds from knowing what’s been going on in Hong Kong. “Since AirDrop is peer-to-peer, protesters are able to send information directly to mainland tourists travelling to Hong Kong,” according to the report.

Source: Swipe Riot: Hong Kong Protesters Using Tinder, Pokémon Go To Coordinate

Global Survey: Donald Trump More Admired Than Pope Francis | CNS News

First Lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump and Pope Francis at the Apostolic Palace, the Vatican, May 24, 2017. (Getty Images/Vatican Pool)

A survey of more than 42,000 people in 41 different countries conducted by YouGov.com revealed that President Donald Trump is more admired than Pope Francis.

However, Trump is not as admired as Bill Gates—who proved to be the most admired man in the world—or former President Barack Obama who was the second most admired man in the world.

In fact, Trump ranked fourteenth and Pope Francis ranked fifteenth.

According to the survey, Chinese President Xi Jinping, who ranked fourth, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who ranked tenth, were also more admired than Trump and Pope Francis.

The same survey showed the Michelle Obama was the most admired woman in the world. She was followed by Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie and Queen Elizabeth II.

Here is the list of the 20 most admired men and their “percent share of admiration”:

1-Bill Gates 9.6

2-Barack Obama 9.2

3-Jackie Chan 5.7

4-Xi Jinping 5.1

5-Jack Ma 4.9

6-Narendra Modi 4.8

7-Christiano Ronaldo 4.3

8-Dalai Lama 4.2

9-Lionel Messi 3.8

10-Vladimir Putin 3.7

11-Warren Buffet 3.3

12-Amitabh Bachchan 2.9

13-Elon Musk 2.9

14-Donald Trump 2.6

15-Pope Francis 2.4

16-ShahrukhKhan 2.2

17-Imran Khan 1.9

18-Salman Khan 1.7

19-Recep Erdogan 1.5

20-Andy Lau 1.5

Here is the list of the 20 most admired women:

1-Michelle Obama 8.8

2-Oprah Winfrey 6.9

3-Angelina Jolie 6.8

4-Queen Elizabeth II 5.9

5-Emma Watson 4.0

6-Malala Yousafzai 3.9

7-Peny Liyuan 3.9

8-Hillary Clinton 3.6

9-Tu Youyou 3.5

10-Taylor Swift 3.3

11-Madonna 3.0

12-Angela Merkel 2.8

13-Deepika Padukone 2.8

14-Priyanka Chopra 2.8

15-Ellen DeGeneres 2.7

16-Aishwarya Rai 2.7

17-Sushmita Sen 2.2

18-Theresa May 2.0

19-Melania Trump 1.6

20-Yang Mi 1.3

Source: Global Survey: Donald Trump More Admired Than Pope Francis

The Heart of America’s Problems of Which Few Speak

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

Let’s go back in time when the Lord’s Prayer was the first thing we did in public school.

I was from a Jewish family, and yet saying that prayer was truly the high point of my day.  My siblings are atheists, but my older sister recently asked me this:

“Do you remember that prayer we said in school?”

I responded by telling her that the prayer comes from the Bible. Jesus taught His disciples to pray that prayer.  My sister said that even though no one ever talked about God in our home, saying that prayer made her feel warm and happy.

Prayer Taken Out of Schools

I’m sure that many of the readers of this article remember infamous Madalyn Murray O’Hair. She was called “The Most Hated Woman in America.”

From allthatsinteresting.com

Madalyn Murray O’Hair founded the American Atheists organization in the 1960s following the landmark Supreme court ruling…

View original post 1,855 more words

The Biblical Case for Guilt By Association — Pulpit & Pen

Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; (Revelation 18:4)

It is not uncommon for people, poorly catechized in the concept of Biblical holiness, to claim that one cannot be held accountable for their associations. The Bible, on the other hand, sends an entirely different message.

Often, the “guilt by association” mantra is heard in defense of Albert Mohler, when he platforms the most radical Social Justice proponents in evangelicalism, in defense of Michael Brown as he supports the most radical New Apostolic Reformation charismatic false-prophecy hustlers, or good men like John MacArthur or Alistair Begg when they preach alongside female pastors.

But, what does the Bible say about guilt by association?


It is true that Jesus ate with tax-collectors and sinners (Matthew 11:16-19) and according to some texts, evangelized promiscuous women (John 4:1-42, John 8:1-11).

Likewise, we are called to preach the gospel to all creatures (Mark 16:15), which includes – especially – sinners.

However, does the command to preach the Gospel to unrepentant sinners require association with them?

A basic definition of association might be helpful.

Association is defined as, “a group of people organized for a joint purpose,” or “a connection or cooperative link between people and organizations.”

In this sense of the word, there are people who we should be evangelizing who we are not – in any meaningful sense – associating with. That would require being organized with them for a joint purpose or having a cooperative link between people or organizations.

In the realm of religious association, this would require a joint cooperative effort for some type of religious purpose in which both sides are working together for a common religious cause.


Association, for the sake of religious discussion, does not imply the working together for non-religious purposes, and there’s no Biblical command not to be in some kind of loose affiliation with people for the sake of business, politics, or recreation.

Neither does association, for the sake of religious discussion, refer to being in the same geographical location as others – say, for example, at Wal-Mart or a baseball game.

Finally, association, for the sake of religious discussion, does not refer to evangelistic efforts in which one side is seeking to reach the other, and therefore must be around them. It refers only to the above textbook definition; joining together for the same purpose, connecting them in cooperative links between people and organizations.


Claiming the “Guilt by Association,” someone argued with me the other day against our complaint that Albert Mohler, Mark Dever, and Ligon Duncan were responsible for the grave theological sins of The Gospel Coalition, by virtue of the fact that they are on its leadership council.

The individual asked, “Are you somehow responsible for the sins of your church members?” I responded with Hebrews 13:17, which specifically says that as a pastor I’m responsible for “giving an account for the souls” of those under my care. After all, this is the purpose undergirding church discipline. If one part of the body suffers, the whole body suffers (1 Corinthians 12:26).

Personal sin affects those connected through corporate association. We see this in the Old Testament as well, when the sin in the camp by a certain individual tainted the whole community and brought upon it severe consequences (Joshua 7:1-13).

Consider the story of Lot, who cast his tent toward Sodom (Genesis 13:12). Lot could not cry about “guilt by association” when God destroyed it with fire and brimstone, and neither did Moses’ argument to God about a righteous man dwelling there seem to affect the outcome of God’s prevailing judgment.

In 1 Corinthians 5:13, God commands the church to “purge the evil person from among you,” which is a scriptural citation of Old Testament commands that specify guilt by association in places like Deuteronomy 13:5, Deuteronomy 17:7, Deuteronomy 17:12, and Deuteronomy 21:21).

And as cited in Revelation 18:4, God commands his people to come out of Babylon unless they share in her plagues and receive her judgments.

The epistles make Guilt by Association all-the-more clear, as Paul writes, “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret” (Ephesians 5:11-12).

John wrote the same, “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 1:9-11).

Paul kept this theme throughout his writings. He told the church in Thessalonica, “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you … And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed” (2 Thessalonians 3:6-7, 14).


There is no earthly reason why John MacArthur should speak alongside an egalitarian female preacher, lesbian Social Justice Warrior, and yet he is.

There is no earthly reason why Alistair Begg should speak alongside Beth Moore – who he admits is a terrible teacher – and yet he is.

There is no reason why Albert Mohler, Ligon Duncan, and Mark Dever should serve on The Gospel Coalition with radical Critical Race Theorists and political leftists like Russell Moore, Thabiti Anyabwile, Sam Allberry, Rebecca McLaughlin, Rachel Gilson, and a whole host of gay Christian leftist, Critical Race Theorists, and Cultural Marxists – and yet they do.

This, of course, does not imply that the sin of these men in regards to unholy associations is as bad as the sins of militant lesbianism, angry egalitarianism, or Gospel-forsaking Social Justice activism of those with whom they associate. It does not mean that John MacArthur is as bad as Jackie Hill Perry, Begg is as bad as Beth Moore, or Mohler is as bad as Sam Allberry. However, the official association (defined above) is still sinful by any Biblical standard

I picked the above three examples because there should be no argument; John MacArthur believes Jackie Hill Perry is a dangerous teacher, Begg’s ministry has stated that Beth Moore is not sound, and Albert Mohler claims he rejects Critical Race Theory. However, this does not excuse these men; on the issue; it condemns them.


The most common “Guilt by Association” argument are presented by using Jesus as an example. It is true that Jesus was blamed for fellowshipping with drunkards (Matthew 11:19). But when people insist this is the only accurate accusation against Christ by the Pharisees it is amazing. Like all the other accusations against Christ, it was untrue.

Jesus did not “fellowship” (κοινωνία) with such sinners, as though it was for his own enjoyment. He came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10), not hang out with them for his own enjoyment. His accompaniment of them was purely for evangelistic purposes, not “chilling.”

Likewise, Jesus preached TO the Pharisees, not WITH them.

Some have even suggested that MacArthur is attempting to “win” Jackie Hill Perry as some kind of super-secret evangelism strategy, or that Begg is hoping to bring Beth Moore to sanity in the Green Room of the conference hotel.

However, Paul did not preach alongside the Judaizers. John did not preach alongside the gnostics. They preached TO them, not WITH them.

Likewise, some have suggested that it is unfair to say that these men are preaching “alongside” the false teachers or “with them” because they are not technically sharing the stage at the exact same time. Because dual-preaching isn’t even a thing in the first place, we consider that excuse to be spurious and dishonest.

When your face is plastered on an advertisement with notorious false teachers, it is clear that you are in union with them, in cooperation with them, and tacitly, that you endorse them. Should someone disagree with that point, I would remind them that “actions speak louder than words” (1 John 3:18).

via The Biblical Case for Guilt By Association — Pulpit & Pen

How We Ought to Respond to Difficult Providences — Monergism.com Blog Feed

by Thomas Boston

In your sufferings,

“Consider His holiness and justice, showing he wrongs you not;

His mercy and goodness, that it is not worse;

His sovereignty, that it may silence you:

His infinite wisdom and love, that may satisfy you in it.”

A spirit brought down to their lot.

Their lot is a low and afflicted one; but their spirit is as low, being, through grace, brought down to it. We may take it up in these five things:

(1.) They submit to it as just. Micah 7.9, “I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him.” There are no hardships in our condition, but we have procured them to ourselves; and it is therefore just that we kiss the rod, and be silent under it, and so lower our spirits to our lot. If they complain, it is of themselves; their hearts rise not up against the Lord, far less do they open their mouth against the heavens. They justify God, and condemn themselves, {72} reverencing His holiness and spotless righteousness in His proceedings against them.

(2.) They go quietly under it as tolerable. Lam. 3.26-29, “It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. He sitteth alone, and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him; he putteth his mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope.” While the unsubdued spirit rages under the yoke as a bullock unaccustomed to it, the spirit brought to the lot goes softly under it. They see it is of the Lord’s mercies that it is not worse; they take up the naked cross, as God lays it down, without those overweights upon it that turbulent passions add thereunto; and so it becomes really more easy than they thought it could have been, like a burden fitted on the back.

(3.) They are satisfied in it, as drawing their comfort from another quarter than their outward condition, even as the house stands fast when the prop is taken away that it did not lean upon. “Although the fig-tree should not blossom, neither fruit be in the vine,—yet I will rejoice in the Lord,” Hab. 3.17,18. Thus did David in the day of his distress. “He encouraged himself in the Lord his God,” 1 Sam. 30.6. It is an argument of a spirit not brought down to the lot, when men are damped and sunk under the hardships of it, as if their condition in the world were the point whereon their happiness turned. It is want of mortification that makes men’s comforts to wax and wane, ebb and flow, according to the various appearances of their lot in the world.

(4.) They have a complacency in it, as that which is fit and good for them, Isa. 39.8; 2 Cor. 12.10. {73} Men have a sort of complacency in the working of physic, though it gripes them sore; they rationally think with themselves that it is good and best for them: so these lowly souls consider their afflicted lot as a spiritual medicine, necessary, fit, and good for them; yea, best for them for the time, since it is ministered by their heavenly Father: and so they reach a holy complacency in their low afflicted lot.

The lowly spirit extracts this sweet out of the bitterness in his lot, considering how the Lord, by means of that afflicting lot, stops the provision for unruly lusts, that they may be starved; how He cuts off the by-channels, that the whole stream of the soul’s love may run towards Himself; how He pulls off and holds off the man’s burden and clog of earthly comforts, that He may run the more expeditiously in the way to heaven.

(5.) They rest in it, as what they desire not to come out of, till the God that brought them into it see it meet to bring them out with His good will, Isa. 38.16. Though an unsubdued spirit’s time for deliverance is always ready, a humble soul will be afraid of being taken out of its afflicted lot too soon. It will not be for moving for a change, till the heaven’s moving bring it about: so this hinders not prayer and the use of appointed means, with dependence on the Lord; but requires faith, hope, patience, and resignation, 2 Sam. 15.25,26.


Source: The Crook in the Lot by Thomas Boston



When Job’s children and material goods were taken away.
And he said,

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” – Job 1:21

“Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth” John 40:4
King Nebuchadnezzar, after being humbled by the LORD”
“At the end of that time I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up toward heaven. My mind became clear again. Then I praised the Most High God. I gave honor and glory to the One who lives forever. His rule will last forever. His kingdom will never end. He considers all of the nations on earth to be nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven. He does what He wants with the nations of the earth. No one can hold His hand back. No one can say to Him, “What have you done?”
My honor and glory were returned to me when my mind became clear again. The glory of my kingdom was given back to me. My advisers and nobles came to me. And I was put back on my throne. I became even greater than I had been before.
Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, give praise and honor and glory to the King of heaven. Everything he does is right. All of his ways are fair. He is able to bring down those who live proudly.” – Daniel 4:34-37
Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:4-5

via How We Ought to Respond to Difficult Providences — Monergism.com Blog Feed

Trailer For New Documentary Revives Southern Baptist Brawl Over Social Justice Theology — The Federalist

In April of last year, The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, an arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, and The Gospel Coalition held the MLK50 Conference. MLK50 launched a controversy over the topic of racial reconciliation within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) over the following year.

The themes present at the MLK50 event were then recapitulated during the 2018 Together for the Gospel Conference. In response, major conservative church leaders clashed over the volatile issue at the 2019 Shepherd’s Conference.

Tensions mounted again at this year’s Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting when voting members (referred to as “messengers”) overwhelmingly voted to affirm “Critical Race Theory” as a valuable “analytical tool” via the controversial “Resolution Nine.”

Most recently, on July 23 Founders Ministries released a trailer for their upcoming documentary, “By What Standard? God’s Word…God’s Rules,” which is set to debut in September. The nearly four-minute preview sparked a firestorm both on social media and behind the scenes.

Charges of racism and misogyny were leveled, along with claims that the trailer portrayed fellow Southern Baptists dishonestly. As a result of what could only be described as a “Twitter mob,” three prominent SBC leaders—Mark Dever, Danny Aiken, and Jonathan Leeman—demanded that their interviews be removed from the final production. On August 1, Founders announced three members of their board had resigned over the incident.

The trailer featured several sound bites of prominent Southern Baptist leaders discussing racial reconciliation, the role of women in the church, and the sex abuse scandals currently embroiling the SBC. Pastor Tom Ascol, president of Founders, agreed to an interview for this article and featured prominently in the video. He expressed a clear concern that certain “godless ideologies”—namely so-called “critical theory,” which forms the basis of identity politics—not entrap leaders of the SBC as they seek real solutions to these problems.

That’s Not What It Looked Like To Me

The trailer made clear that these were serious issues in the country’s largest Protestant denomination that need to be addressed with the utmost expediency and clarity. No leader in the trailer was portrayed as unconcerned about these matters. All in all, it looked as if Founders Ministries was attempting to put together the most outstanding leaders in the SBC to address the denomination’s most pressing challenges.

Yet this is not how many received the trailer. Shortly after its release, all four presidents of the major SBC seminaries released statements on Twitter, including Albert Mohler, who also granted an interview for this article. Each criticized the video in some manner. On social media, many labeled the preview racist and misogynist, and others framed the situation as Mohler and Ascol having a serious falling out.

In Mohler’s statement, he said, “I am alarmed at how some respected SBC leaders are represented.” “I tried my very best not to denounce anyone,” Mohler said in response to pushback on his statement. “I’ll be glad to denounce anyone who is an enemy of the gospel…but that’s just not the case here on either side.”

When asked what alarmed him about the promo, Mohler stated, “the cinematography.” Mohler said the trailer seemed to cast certain leaders in the SBC in a poor light and could have been more adequately edited. Ascol publicly agreed the editing could have been improved.

What further “alarmed” Mohler, he said, was that Founders exposed themselves to this backlash by using out-of-context sound bites that could be interpreted any number of ways. This is perhaps what frustrated Mohler the most in the entire incident, because now the focus has been diverted from the SBC’s most pressing current challenges into a golden opportunity to impugn the motives of Ascol and Founders Ministries.

Twitter Mob Does What Twitter Mobs Do

Ascol reported that some, in reaction to the trailer, sent him personal messages saying, “He and Founders should be condemned by the SBC,” “You should resign from the ministry,” and even, “You should kill yourself.” Ascol responded in a recent statement, “Certainly, no one at Founders Ministries [was able to] foresee people taking it that way. That was not our intention.”

As the critiques mounted, some of the interviewees in the documentary accused Founders of asking them to participate under false pretenses, purposefully taking footage of them out of context, or using footage without permission. Ascol categorically denies these charges, calling them “patently false.”

Despite the blowback, Ascol seems determined to keep the preview of the documentary public, stating, “It’s telling that (the trailer) has caused such a reaction.” He further expressed that, given the reaction, and despite the angst it has caused him, he and Founders should “stay the course.” Ascol is convinced that he “hit upon a nerve” in the SBC that should be further explored and “discussed with open Bibles, as brothers,” not as a social media mob.

Disagreement Hasn’t Separated These Two Pastors

Despite some differences in approach, from the interviews with both men they appear to remain allies on the topic of racial reconciliation in the church. Mohler referred to his many years hosting “The Briefing” and his consistent denunciation of philosophies such as critical theory, intersectionality, and postmodernism. Like Ascol, Mohler would define these worldviews as “godless.”

“There is no doubt in my mind that we…walk arm-in-arm on this subject [and his tweet] was an exhortation to charity among us all,” Ascol said of Mohler. Mohler expressed the same sentiment: “I have known Tom for years and he has always been a man of respect and character.” Mohler also unequivocally denied as a possibility that Ascol deceived his interviewees for the documentary or that intentionally meant to harm fellow Southern Baptists.

Furthermore, Mohler seemed repulsed by the notion that social media mobs are ruling conversations, even in the SBC. He asserts, “One of the problems in this situation is that people make instant judgements about the motivations and the heart of people.”

“How is it that they can judge my heart now and they couldn’t judge me if I was trying to trick them into participating in the (documentary)? It doesn’t make sense,” Ascol said. Both Ascol and Mohler expressed a very real concern that something simply does not add up here.

At the end of the day, according to both Mohler and Ascol, the message from one friend to another is, “Get a better editor for the next trailer” and perhaps, “Nondescript soundbites are a bad way to go, especially when you have enemies.”

Identity Politics Not Welcome at Southern Seminary

Both Ascol and Mohler were adamant that anyone attempting to pit them against each other is entertaining a fantasy. Mohler was repeatedly clear that politically leftist ideologies such as critical theory, identity politics, and any other notion of postmodern, neo-Marxism have no place in the church of Jesus Christ, even as “analytical tools.”

To prove this point, Mohler stated, “No one is going to be teaching at Southern Seminary from ‘the other side,’” of post-modern, critical theory.” Some have contended that Mohler is attempting to hide “woke” faculty members—men such as Dr. Matthew Hall, provost of Southern Seminary, and Dr. Curtis Woods, the chairman of the “Resolution Nine” committee.

When asked why one of Hall’s articles on the Southern Seminary website affirming critical race theory was scrubbed, Mohler replied forthrightly, “Because I asked for it to be scrubbed. It was because I did not think it was helpful…If I thought Matt Hall was a danger to the church of Jesus Christ, he would not be the provost of Southern Baptist Seminary.”

Woods is a very recent addition to the Southern Seminary faculty. His statement at the 2019 SBC meeting on Resolution Nine was called into question by Mohler on his daily radio show. When asked if he was siding with the social justice movement in the SBC, Mohler said, “I find [that question] ludicrous. I have spent my entire adult life combating leftist ideologies…from critical theory to Marxism, to theological liberalism…I will let my record and my writing speak for themselves.”

“A denomination cannot survive by anathematizing one another,” Mohler said. “The conversation is going to have to avoid ad hominem arguments…but I do not believe that the conservative position can be maintained only in the context of denunciation. It just doesn’t work. It’s about making the case for the superiority of conservative ideas and doing so while maintaining the intellectual process.”

Complaining Versus Tangible Work

Mohler said those who want to seriously combat identity politics within the SBC must offer real solutions to racial disparities in the United States. To that end, enter Ascol’s record as a pastor for 33 years.

In a recent email interchange for this article, he reported his church, Grace Baptist Church, “helped immigrants gain legal status, return to their native countries, and get settled in the USA. Over the years I have personally dealt with ICE, the FBI, our local Sheriff’s office and immigration attorneys in trying to help both members and unbelieving friends who found themselves—sometimes unjustly—ensnared in our legal system.”

Indeed, a simple Google search of Ascol’s work yields this article demonstrating that Grace doesn’t have time to pontificate on race relations because they are actually doing something about it, one individual at a time. Ascol was clear to assert that it is not “systemic” change that needs to happen, but that “the Gospel of Jesus Christ – which is the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection” is the answer. In his vast experience, that has been the key to reconciliation.

Ascol shared personal information on this note: “My grandfather was a Muslim immigrant from Syria who was murdered by a white man in Arkansas as my 10-year-old dad sat beside him in a horse-drawn wagon.” The Ascol family is not many generations removed from the kind of racism the SBC is attempting to combat. Ascol simply questions whether opening the SBC to identity politics and intersectional theory will truly further the gospel’s work of forgiveness of sins.

Despite Pastor Ascol’s efforts and background, a social media mob was able to erase half of the board of directors of his respected SBC ministry arm. One of the lost board members has been Ascol’s friend for 40 years. What other effects on the SBC, and American Christianity, might such social media mobs have in the long-term?

Matthew Garnett is the husband of Jennifer, the father of two children, a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana, truck driver, and host of the “In Layman’s Terms” broadcast.

Copyright © 2019 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.

via Trailer For New Documentary Revives Southern Baptist Brawl Over Social Justice Theology — The Federalist

Famed Yale computer science professor quits believing Darwin’s theories — Christian Research Network

Gelernter said he likes many of his colleagues at Yale, that they are his friends, but when he looks at “their intellectual behavior, what they have published — and much more importantly what they tell their students — Darwinism has indeed passed beyond a scientific argument as far as they are concerned. You take your life in your hands to challenge it intellectually. They will destroy you if you challenge it.”

(Jennifer Kabbany – The College Fix)  David Gelernter, a famed Yale University professor, has publicly renounced his belief in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, calling it a “beautiful idea” that has been effectively disproven.

Gelernter, who is known for predicting the World Wide Web and has developed many complex computing tools over the years, is today a professor of computer science at Yale, chief scientist at Mirror Worlds Technologies, member of the National Council of the Arts, and a prolific author.

In May, the Claremont Review of Books published a column by Gelernter headlined “Giving Up Darwin.” In it, he explained how his readings and discussions of Darwinian evolution and its competing theories, namely intelligent design, have convinced him Darwin had it wrong.  View article →


Creation vs Evolution

via Famed Yale computer science professor quits believing Darwin’s theories — Christian Research Network